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Robert Shrum: Populism is Obama's path to victory

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:18 AM
Original message
Robert Shrum: Populism is Obama's path to victory
Populism is Obama's path to victory
Critics berate the president for taking his inspiring new progressive message to the American people. But it's the critics who ought to be ashamed

POSTED ON OCTOBER 27, 2011, AT 6:20 AM

The president must be doing something right. He's now getting advice (from all the wrong quarters) that he ought to stop standing up for the people, not the privileged. Of course, such arguments largely rest on pre-cast assumptions and self-serving calculations.

First out of the triangulating box was Clinton pollster Mark Penn, who wrote a remarkably data-free piece urging the president to draw back from dividing lines and retreat to formulaic centrism. In effect, Penn recommended a replay of the 1996 Clinton re-election campaign when, in a pre-Monica time of rising prosperity and job growth, the incumbent still couldn't manage 50 percent of the popular vote, and was left without a serious mandate for his second term. It was this same approach, cautious and at times almost contentless, that doomed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic primaries. Voters were instead drawn to the cause and candidate of change. (She could have been that candidate, but it was too late when she finally embraced the populism Penn had disdained in the early contests.)

Now come the real Republicans to second and amplify Penn's message to Obama.

In a speech at the Heritage Foundation, the Medicare-shredding Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) denounced the president's "divisive message that pits one group against another" with "fear, envy, and the politics of division." Predictably, Ryan railed against "class-warfare" the tired phrase ritually trotted out from the right-wing's Orwellian dictionary to smear any call for economic justice and tax fairness.

Ryan knows a thing or two about class warfare. His proposed budget, supported by almost every Republican in the House, would wage war against the poor, against the education and health care of the middle class, and against the security of seniors, with Medicare voucherized and recipients forced to pay an additional $6,000 a year. The wealthy, and this is no surprise, would benefit from huge tax cuts paid for by the sacrifices of everyone else. No wonder Ryan doesn't want the president to confront this by campaigning for ideals of equity and the interests of hard-working and out-of-work Americans.

more...

http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/220742/populism-is-ob...
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Bake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. It would be nice if he were a REAL populist
And not just a corporatist johnny-come-lately in disguise.

Bake
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. WHATEVER!
Are you going to call Elizabeth Warren a corporatist for taking donations from corporate lobbyist? No, of course not because folks like yourself are not concerned with what the rest of the Liberals are doing only Obama.

Does not matter that Nancy Pelosi or Dennis Kucinich or any other Liberal did concerning Health care reform only Obama...Does not matter what Nancy Pelosi did by allowing the vote to take place extending the Bush Tax cuts ONLY Obama...Does not matter that Obama tried to close GITMO twice & the Liberals in Congress turned their backs on him out of FEAR of the political backlash back home but folks like yourself put 100% blame on Obama.


Yes, I am a Liberal & I love Nancy Pelosi & Dennis Kucinich (When he is not acting a fool) so don't call me a freeper or all the other little snarky names folks like to call people who do not take their hardline stance.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Will the naysayers on this post vote for Romney or, better yet, Rick Perry?
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 04:43 PM by flpoljunkie
I share some of their disappointment-- most particularly President Obama's administration's failure to stem the foreclosure crisis--but Romney or Perry would be far, far worse.

Quoting Joe Biden, President Obama intoned recently, 'Don't compare me to the Almighty. Compare me to the alternative!'
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Gee, how predictable...
Now we are deep into lesser of two evils territory.

FLPoljunkie, we know we have nowhere to go. Do you chuckle as you rub it in? ;)
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great white snark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. You complain but will you be voting for Obama, the "lesser of two evils?"
?
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. Of course.
Nowhere else to go.
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SkyDaddy7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. I agree...But
How could Obama have stopped the foreclosure crisis without literally taking over the banking system? That would have been good for those losing their houses but what would the rest of the nation thought? Look how they responded to the program that failed when it was first proposed...That asshole on CNBC went nuts & the Tea Party exploded into our lives & it was seen by many as an overreach when it was not.

What other method could have been done without turning most of America against him or was even politically possible? Remember at the time most Americans had no clue how bad things were...Yes, there are things that should have been done like the stimulus being twice what it was but the reality was it was politically impossible to pass a $1.5 Trillion stimulus.


Not the same but...Obama tried closing GITMO twice but got left standing alone because almost every Democrat voted to keep it open...But Obama is given 100% of the blame by many Democrats for not closing it. Is Obama being blamed for not stopping the foreclosures but in reality there was not much he could have done "politically"?

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Obama listened to Geithner and made no effort to push cramdown after it passed the House
Too little of the $50 billion the administration promised from TARP monies to help homeowners has been spent.

'The cramdown legislation passed the House in 2008, only to die in the Senate in 2009. In 2008 then-candidate Obama endorsed the cramdown legislation. But in 2009, President Obama made no effort to push the legislation, and the Treasury Department, fearing that the banks were too fragile to recognize losses, was just short of openly hostile to the legislation, essentially slow-walking the President yet again.'

http://www.salon.com/2011/10/27/make_the_banks_pay /



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quaker bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. +1
Thanks
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polichick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. Maybe it'll rub off on him, he'll have an epiphany or remember why he got into this work.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
2. Shrum assumes "populism" is just some fancy words without actions backing them up.
If anyone has sense, they'd realize that "pundits" like shrum do more harm than good.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The President's eloquent populism is unassailable, but sadly doesn't gibe
with a $500 billion slashing of Medicare which would be tantamount to a +/- $2,000 tax per year on each couple on Medicare. Some populism, oh how glorious this euphemistically dichotomous shared burden. :patriot:
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. +1000
You nailed it, Indepat.
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blueclown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. Not that I don't agree with Shrum, but what does he know about the "path to victory"?
Look at his resume.
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shotten99 Donating Member (478 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. You took the words out of my mouth.
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
11. Agreed, and I think the President is already starting to do this.
and will most likely be his focus during the next several months leading up to the elections. Meanwhile the GOPers will be focusing on tax cuts, budget cuts, terrorism and conservative social issues. I think a populist message trumps all that with most voters.
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